The exhibition brings together works from the dawn of the century with contemporary works. In a new, immersive work by Peter Kogler, iconic items on loan and archival material from Fernand Léger and Charlotte Perriand, together with the compositions of George Antheil und Franz Pomassl, form a tangible cosmos of architectural and medial space that is at once reproducible, programmed and mysterious.
At the centre of the exhibition lies the reflection of the ground-breaking, revolutionary Ballet Mécanique by Fernand Léger and George Antheil. This work, which resonates to the present day, was conceived in the early 1920s as the first Surrealist-Dadaist link between film montage and mechanised music, with the artists Fernand Léger as visual composer, Dudley Murphy as cameraman, and George Antheil as music composer.
Its goal was, in the words of Antheil, ‘to make clear to the (present) age both the beauty and danger of its unconscious mechanical philosophy and aesthetic.’ The effect of the piece is hypnotic: the most rapid, mechanically precise rhythms alternate between attacks on the instrument’s keys and terrifying silence.